Free Library wants TLC in digital age

The Free Library’s Central Branch hosted a dive bar-themed author event
last night as part of an attempt to attract an underserved demographic:
young adults who have graduated from college but have not yet settled

“Once people have families, they tend to come back here for
children’s books; but in the meantime, people’s social lives don’t
generally revolve around going to events at the library,” said library
coordinator Dan Schiffner.

The free event featured Philadelphia Weekly writer Brian McManus,
author of Philadelphia’s “Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in the
City of Brotherly Love” and “The Regulars” author-photographer Sarah
Stolfa, who assembled portraits after tending bar at McGlinchey’s.

“[It’s an] effort to bring young supporters into the library and to
the website,” library spokesman Alex Gertz said.

This includes
visits from popular authors like Chuck Palahniuk and a strong Internet
presence, with social media outreach (you can become Foursquare mayor of
any of the library’s 54 locations); downloadable mp3s, Ebooks, and
podcasts; online foreign language tutorials and free WiFi at all
branches. Library officials have even discussed installing a test
kitchen for local cooking events as a part of upcoming renovations.

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